How did pipeline protesters beat US Bank Stadium security?
From left to right: Sen Holiday, Karl Zimmerman, and Carolyn Feldman were booked for their involvement in the protest at U.S. Bank Stadium. Photos Courtesy: Hennepin County Jail
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Three people are sitting in the Hennepin County Jail after dangling from the rafters of US Bank Stadium during Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears game. They were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline and US Bank's alleged connection to the pipeline's parent company.
But the big question remains: How could stadium security could let this happen?
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority says 2 of the 3 protesters climbed over a guardrail to access the area. But the authority would not respond to our questions about how, in a stadium where only tiny purses or clear bags are approved, did the protesters get a big sign and all of their climbing equipment past the gates?
"I talked to a couple of fans that were sitting right there and the lady said the lady carried the sign in her backpack and then they climbed up the stairs,” one spectator told Fox 9. “I don't know how they got past security at that point."
According to Fox 9 sources, the operators of the stadium, SMG, failed an independent audit on security performance this past fall, only months before Sunday's incident.
Off-duty Minneapolis police officers working the Vikings game were the first to the scene, and crisis negotiators and Minneapolis firefighters were brought in to help. But Minneapolis police say all questions about security need to be directed to the stadium authority.
"The security screening isn't done by us, so for me to say exactly how they got through wouldn't be fair,” Minneapolis police spokesman Corey Schmidt said.
Karl Mayo, 32, and Sen Holiday, 26, were arrested and booked into jail for burglary and trespassing. Carolyn Feldman, 27, was booked into jail for obstructing the legal process.